Pic. John Dahl
Here's the thing. You should treat your pilot career as if you were an olympic athlete. The career profiles are very similar. You have no real idea of how long it will last or physically how healthy you can stay.
Your greatest asset over your lifetime is your earning capacity and you should be protecting that at all costs. It then goes without saying that it is really important, not only to look after your cashflow, but to be actively involved in your health, fitness and nutrition too.
In the long run, a flight medical is the doorway to your continued success. If you don't believe me, ask any senior pilot what's on his mind come medical day!! No medical no licence, no licence no job, no job no income, no income........ Look after yourself, you are your best investment.
Not to say these things should stop you from pursuing a flying career, just consider the possibilities on your journey. There are a multitude of reasons you may be forced to give up flying on any given day. Contracts get cancelled, owners pull machines, governments change policies, the list is endless. These can all potentially impact your cashflow too. Prepare for it, because it can and usually will affect us all at some point to varying degrees during our career. The only way to ride out the bumps is by being prepared.
I've been at the receiving end of these bumps several times. One minute everything is just dandy and the next you are frantically updating your CV while scouring your phone for your 'connections'. You have little control over actions taken by companies but you do have complete control of how it will affect you.
A sensible athlete is acutely aware that their time in the limelight is short, perhaps this should be how we see our flying jobs too. 'make hay while the sun shines' says it best, while you are earning, 'make-it-count', things can and do have a habit of changing quickly.
One of my all time favourites:
"Do what you have to do as soon as you can,
so you can do what you want to,
for as long as you can"
What am I really saying? Don't blow it all on toys, houses and hilux's. There needs to be a balance and dare I say a little bias towards your stash, we already play with toys at work, big shiny noisey toys!!! If you happened to work in an office cubicle, on the 23rd floor, next to the water machine, then you might need something to get the adrenalin going on the weekends - but we don't need to. Going to work is an adrenalin rush.
Here's my Top 5 Traits of the Astute Pilot:
I'll be looking at 'lifestyle inflation' and your 'enough' in an upcoming post.
This blog is about making sensible decisions based on what we do for a living, the risks involved and to help you navigate to maximise your success.
Be smart with the rewards of your hard work. MAKE-IT-COUNT!!
Keep it safe out there boys and girls.
Thanks for stopping by
Just my experiences as a pilot in Africa, things learnt along the way and useful stuff for others following their dream...
All content is a personal opinion and not to be considered technical instruction or guidelines of any kind. All content is for entertainment purposes only.